Okey Sampson, Aba
Noble Agbaeze, from Abia North senatorial zone is a member, APC Presidential Campaign Council. In this interview, he spoke about the verdict of the Election Petition Tribunal as it affects the Senate Chief Whip, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu.
What’s your reaction on the Abia National and States Assembly Petition Tribunal’s verdict on Senator Kalu’s election?
Let me start by thanking the good and industrious people of Abia North Senatorial District for their firm belief and unflinching support in the All Progressives Congress (APC), and President Muhammadu Buhari.
This is because a beloved son with whom we are well pleased, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu symbolizes them here. That shows the level of confidence we have in Senator Kalu which was conspicuously evidenced in the last general elections. To us in Abia North, Kalu is beyond a natural person playing politics, rather he is a political ideology and a doctrine.
I must sound it clear, despite the fact that the judgment does not in any way threaten Kalu’s membership of the Senate, but majority of Abia North people both at home and in Diaspora are not happy with it. Our people are sad despite that nothing has gone wrong yet. I am not talking to exaggerate the scenario but the factual situation on ground, because anything tilting towards touching Kalu evidently moves towards touching the souls of our people. Honestly, our people are not happy about the judgment, not with the quality representation Kalu has already started giving them.
Some people are of the view the tribunal was biased in its judgment, do you share that view?
Sometimes, that is how legal positivism functions, and you know whenever a competent court gives judgment, those in court can only echo “as the court pleases” not minding any opinion to the contrary because it is binding at the moment. The position of Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(As Amended) explains this, but the beautiful thing about our legal system is the inalienable right of appeal and I know Senator Kalu shall timeously and vigilantly do the needful and I believe the appellate court shall restore the mandate given him by our people. In my opinion, one thing the court shall always seek not to do, is to replace the wisdom of the people with the wisdom of the court on electoral matters and that is done by always giving a judgement that reflects the will of the people to uphold democracy. Let me also establish without equivocation that I align with our party to reject the judgement.
Do you think in all fairness that OUK won the election ab initio?
How can anybody win Kalu in an election in Abia State of today? At present, under a free and fair atmosphere, it cannot happen; OUK can never lose election to anybody for now. This is because nobody has equalled his records in imparting positively in the life of our people, there is no known name in Abia politics in whatever political party the person may belong today that did not receive a boost from him and till today, he remains the best.
Every person, politicians, non-politicians, and even a toddler knows that Senator Kalu won the election without any form of rigging and malpractice and has been winning even in the previous elections without being declared due to the vendetta of few despotic, imperious and lordly interlopers from other senatorial districts who also rose to the top through Kalu’s political machinery and later turned against him. I assure you, Senator Kalu will defeat all of them this time around. Let me also tell you that even if the election is conducted 100 times more, Kalu will win 100 times.
By implication, does the judgment mean Kalu is no longer a senator?
The status quo is that Kalu is the Chief Whip of the Senate and the Senator representing Abia North; this position has not been vacated legally. The Tribunal gave him 30 days to appeal this judgement and it is not possible that he will not do the needful.
If rerun election is held in those units as ordered by the tribunal, do you see Mao winning Kalu?
Nothing comes from nothing and no one can build a castle in the air. Ex-Senator Mao Ohuabunwa remains a former senator; there is no base anymore for him to win. He cannot win anything so long as it is between him and Senator Kalu. From the political perspective, nothing can remove our ebullient Senator Kalu from that seat, so long as the enthronement power is resting on our people. I was a supervising- agent in my ward in that election; I can confidently say Kalu is the man in the heart of the people. The PDP candidate is not popular with due respect to him and he knows this.
Remember the court ordered for a supplementary rerun in few wards in two local governments out of five and Kalu is already leading with over 10,000 votes.
The question is, how many are the registered voters in those units?
How many of those registered voters are active voters? Shall all the voters vote only one candidate? How can he win? Abia North is APC. In the case of any election, let me also without equivocation make it clear that we shall invoke our common conscience and socio-political reinforcement to lawfully resist any external force that is out to truncate the will of our people.